Tips for Taking Care of Yourself

As university students, it often gets tough to find the time between juggling your university work, your social life and extracurricular activities to actually take care of yourself. You often hear people refer to university as the best years of your life, and that you need to make the most of it before the real adulting begins…


With this, comes a pressure to make sure you’re doing everything you can to live up to this standard. I know of way too many people that stretch themselves thin, trying their best to maintain a particular image of themselves, forgetting to check on themselves. Burn-out is something university students know all too well. If you’re like me and have very few contact hours, finding the motivation to set a routine and get stuff done on your own can be extremely difficult. It’s important to be kind to yourself and take steps to ensure that you are your first priority. 


Self care doesn’t always mean face masks, spa days or bubble baths. These are often superficial and external methods that don’t really do much in terms of working on our minds and wellbeing. Sure a face mask will make your skin glow, but what about your mind?

Here are a few things I do when I feel burnt out and need a little self-love:


1. Clean your room 

Clean space = clean mind. I am generally someone that struggles to keep a clean space... I have to actively take time to clean my room every 3 to 4 days. I am someone that can’t function in a messy space but doesn’t have enough organisational skills to keep my room from becoming an absolute state every few days. It’s incredibly counterproductive but I’ve found that the time I allocate every few days to clean it can be very therapeutic and satisfying. I’ve turned it into a little bit of a ritual. It’s also an easy way to be productive and get yourself in the mood to finish other tasks. 



2. Turn your phone off for a day

I am definitely addicted to my phone. I find myself picking it up, unlocking it and staring at the home screen, forgetting what I needed to do. Sometimes I’ll be scrolling through Instagram wondering how and when my phone even ended up in my hand. Nowadays, I turn my phone off on Sundays. You don’t always need to be reachable. People can always leave you messages, and you can get back to them later. Sundays are a good day to take off because you’re probably not going to get any important or professional calls. As amazing as smartphones are, it gives one too much access to too many things, and that can be overwhelming. Your brain needs some time to disconnect from the outside world. You could argue that it’s very easy to just turn your phone back on and use it, but it’s about giving your mind the space and time to reflect without constantly being connected to someone or something. 



3. Meditate

Meditation is honestly one of the easiest ways to centre yourself and come back in touch with yourself. Many people never get around to trying it out because they think it’s difficult or a waste of time. There are a lot of misconceptions around meditation, but it’s really just about sitting down in silence, and tuning into your thoughts. Sometimes it’s easy to clear your mind, sometimes it’s not, either way the awareness that you have in those few moments of meditation is helpful in being mindful of what is occupying your mind and how you can address your stress and anxiety. 



4. Journal

I am a BIG fan of journaling. When you have loads on your mind, it feels nice to get everything down on paper. You don’t need to be good at writing, you just need to have a pen, paper/ journal and the motivation to write. It really helps to put things into perspective - especially if you’re thinking about too many things simultaneously, it helps to organise your thoughts and work through your emotions. So invest in some pretty stationery and get writing! 



5. Knowing when to say no

I’m generally the kind of person who likes to please people, but this also means not putting myself first and saying yes to things that I don’t really want to. Especially at university, where making time for friends can be difficult when you have so much going on. It is very important to spend time with friends but at the same time, you need to be whole and happy before you share your space and time with others. More often than not, if you say you need time for yourself to recharge then your friends will understand. 


As we come to the end of the semester, make the decision to put yourself first and give yourself the time and attention you give everything and everyone else around you. Good luck and remember to love yourself!